What is the morbidity and mortality of diverticulosis?

Updated: Aug 06, 2019
  • Author: Elie M Ghoulam, MD, MS; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Diverticulitis may be a more severe illness in those who are immunocompromised, who have significant comorbid conditions, and in those taking anti-inflammatory medications. Note the following:

  • After a first occurrence of acute diverticulitis, the 5-year recurrence rate is 20%. [23]

  • Patients with diverticulitis who are managed conservatively (ie, do not undergo surgery) have a recurrence rate of 20%-35%.

  • In a study of 252 patients, a 47% recurrence rate was reported after 7 years. [24] The rate of surgery in these patients was 8% at 7 years and rose to 14% by 13 years. Recurrence after surgical resection ranged from 1% to 3%. The mortality from complications in patients with recurrent disease in the study was 1%.

  • Another study of 337 patients hospitalized for complicated diverticulitis revealed an association of perforation and mortality in those without a prior history of diverticulitis. [25] Of those patients with complicated diverticulitis, 53% presented with a first event.

  • These morbidity and mortality data, as well as the recurrence rates, are based on a retrospective review of relatively short-term data.

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